Keep in mind what are the most important priorities in your life. Merlin Mann describes how he figured this out.
Yesterday I wrote about my plans to transition this site over to gonyea.com in the near future. Yet an event today reminded me about something I have been thinking off and on about for the past few months. Why should I run my site on my own server?
This afternoon I was doing my usual after work routine online, catching up on my e-mail, RSS feeds, and Twitter. I happen to go to my site ready to jot down a few ideas for a blog post. Eventually my web browser times out connecting to this site. I try my other sites on this server, nothing happens.
I groan, as I know immediately what the problem is. My server (running Ubuntu 9.04), despite several rebuilds and reconfigurations, will randomly spike to 100% CPU usage and become completely unresponsive. Cannot SSH into it, cannot even serial console into it. I have to do a hard shutdown of the server then power it back on, hoping that I did not corrupt the database in the process. Who knows how long the server was down, could have been hours.
This gets me thinking. Is there really a need for me to run the latest WordPress on my own server? Do I have the time and energy to keep this server secure, up-to-date, and with as close to 100% uptime as possible? Do I really want to troubleshoot obscure issues on an OS I know very little about?
My gut says I want the power of WordPress so I can eventually unveil my awesome web site that I keep promising for years, that this server is a great learning experience for not only hosting my own site, but making sure everything just plain works.
My head tells me that I have been promising that awesome web site since I registered chrisgonyea.com, which was 8 freaking years ago. Point the DNS records to Tumblr for chrisgonyea.com and begin fresh there, with a simple blogging platform that does the few things I have ever done with this site. Let Tumblr worry about uptime, security, and providing an awesome site for me. Maybe it will make me write more.
As I ponder this, I did some tweaks to my Apache installation since I did find some log entries that suggest the server ran out of memory. Let’s see if this fixes the problem. If not, I may press the kill switch on self hosting WordPress.
A few updates to my blog:
- I am now using WordPress 3.0 on this blog.
- I have switched to using the new default theme in WordPress 3.0.
- Given the lack of discussion on almost all of my posts and the amount of comment spam on old posts I see despite several comment spam plugins, I have decided to experiment with turning off all comments on posts older than 30 days. I am interested in seeing how this turns out.
Over the weekend my wife and I decided to start our Netflix subscription again. During the spring, summer, and fall we are just too busy to watch movies and much TV, outside of Red Sox games that are on practically every night. We usually just place a hold on our Netflix subscription until winter comes, when the bad weather forces us to stay inside and we have lots of time for movies, TV shows, etc.
Yesterday we received our Netflix streaming disc for my PS3 and a DVD. The DVD remains in its envelope, unopened, thanks to how fantastic the Netflix streaming works on the PS3.
Last night my wife and I watched the first 6 episodes of The Office over the Internet, in HD, on my PS3 for just our $8.99 Netflix subscription. The quality was stunning for internet streaming and it started up within a minute after some quick buffering. In fact, I couldn’t tell the difference between watching a HD episode of the office streaming or on our regular Comcast HD channels. It seriously looked like a HD show, no pauses for buffering, no moments of digital blocks appearing on the screen, nothing.
I am seriously impressed and love the direction Netflix is going with Internet streaming. I hope this means in the near future I can get my live sports in HD via streaming of my local teams. MLB.TV works, but still has blackout restrictions so I can’t watch the Red Sox via streaming. Fix that and I cancel cable TV.
Not often that you get a three-day week and Christmas together. I am really looking forward to this week for the potential of relaxation and enjoying time with my family.